Matt Saul, the chairman of the Asia Trader Forum and Asian head trader at Fidelity Worldwide Investment gave an overview of the recent activities of the buy-side trader group at the FIX Trading Community’s 12th Asia Pacific Trading Summit, held in Hong Kong on 28 May 2014.
The Asia Trader Forum currently consists of 24 members, and he believes that number will rise to approximately 30 buy-side traders, who are at firms that manage aggregate assets in Asia of $500 billion.
Saul said that more time had been spent on regulatory matters in the last year than he had bargained for. As a result of the activity from the authorities, the Forum had found itself in a position of having to react to changes from regulators, rather than the preferred situation of being able to offer advice and lobbying in anticipation.
The Forum has undertaken official trips to India, South Korea and plans an upcoming trip to China to see the Central Bank and the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Saul flagged Japan as being a challenge for the Forum and indicated that he would like a more extensive dialogue to get underway on trading matters there.
In a buy-side session on the panel sofa with Sam Kim and Emma Quinn, the heads of trading at Blackrock and Alliance Bernstein respectively, Saul was asked for his thoughts on dark pools in Asia.
“Some of the dark pools are indeed very dark, they are not active – they appear to have no lights on at all, so to speak,” he said. “That said, it is difficult for a firm to give up on their investment, so whilst those dark pools will be forced to evolve, I don’t think they will be thrown away.”